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Election news Web site
Founded in 2000, Real Clear Politics seized the moment and emerged as an indispensable aggregator of polling data and election news, averaging more than 10 million visitors a month. Run by the former options trader John McIntyre and the former advertising exec Tom Bevan out of an office on the Clybourn corridor, the site is one of the nation’s few news businesses with plans for expansion. 


So what that majority owner Jerry M. Reinsdorf gave twice as much to McCain? Maybe the First Fan will throw out the first pitch next April. No word on whether Obama will ever surrender that ratty cap.


Would Tina Fey’s devastating impersonation of the hapless veep candidate Sarah Palin have existed without her training at The Second City? Amy Poehler’s hilarious Hillary? Chicago’s frothy comedy scene becomes sacred ground once more.


Number cruncher
Formerly known to only a nerdy cadre of baseball stats junkies, the 30-year-old University of Chicago alum transformed poll watching into a dark art, outpredicting the biggies and calling the race for Obama as early as March. Did you see his final numbers? Scary accurate.


Cook County Commissioner
A part-time member of Obama’s posse, Claypool—a close friend of David Axelrod’s and a consultant to Axelrod’s media firm—played the roles of Bill Richardson and John Edwards for Obama’s primary debate prep. His next possible role? Cook County Board president. Run, Forrest, run!


Fancy Italian restaurant
Michelle’s 44th birthday. The couple’s 16th anniversary. The first post-election dinner out. Executive chef Tony Mantuano (above) demurred when asked if he’d consider moving to the White House to cook for the first couple, describing the job as if it was an onerous chore: “You have to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids.” Surely, there are worse things. 


Alt-rock band
Rock stars turn groupies. Frontman Jeff Tweedy and co. headlined several fundraising concerts for Obama across the country, with Tweedy calling it “the unbelievable privilege” of playing for the would-be president. But it was actually Obama who wanted the band’s autographs.


Federal Appellate Judge
She has a first-class legal mind, she works hard, and she’s a woman. Early speculators have added these qualities up and put the Chicago-based Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge on short lists for Obama’s first nomination to the Supreme Court.


Will the term undergo an extreme makeover, moving from a pejorative to a happy description of any campaign with a masterful ground game, up-to-the-minute methodology, and a harmonious leadership team?


Photography: (Real Clear Politics) Courtesy of realclearpolitics.com, (Fey and Poehler) NBC photo/Dana Edelson, (Silver) Chicago Tribune photo by Tom Van Dyke, (Obama) Chicago Tribune photo by Nuccio di Nuzzo

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